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whats up with the watt?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bassturd, Feb 13, 2002.

  1. Ok, Here is the question(s)...

    Many new amp heads are made 750 watts and above now. I seen them in action at different house parties. When i seen them though it seems like they still don't provide enough power and they are running a 4x10.

    The old heads for example 70's ampegs I think are 350 watts. I seen thoughs in action and they can provide plenty of power. (from what i heard)

    can anyone tell me why?
    is this just my imagination?
    is it because one is solid state and the other tubes?

  2. PICK


    Jan 27, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    9 times out of 10 tube amps will seem louder!!! And they usually are louder. It has to do with the drive characteristics of the two. Tube amps have a musical overdrive therefore you can push them as hard as you want and they will still sound good where as if you push a solidstate amp hard it will sound like crap!!

    This is usually the case.

    I just re-read that post and it doesnt make sence to me. I hope it helps you!!!

  3. Matthias


    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    The tube vs. ss topic has been discussed here exhaustively I don't want to go into that.
    (But I basically agree with Dave - however if you compare 'clean' volume there should be no difference)

    But here are 2 further points (guesses):

    1. Many players use the smiley-face EQ setting nowadays. The lack of mids leads to considerably less perceived volume. The old school bass sound of the 70ies is very 'midrangey', this way you can achieve more volume with less power.

    2. Many 410 cabs are rated 8 Ohms.
    An ss-amp rated 700W@2Ohms will put out only 250W-300W into an 8Ohm load.
    (However a head rated 700W@4Ohms paired with a decent 4Ohm 410 cab will be plenty loud)
    A tube amp can put out the same amount of power into 2/4/8 Ohms.

    Furthermore you can't compare an 810 cab (which is 'standard' with an SVT) to a 410 volumewise.

  4. ThunderStik

    ThunderStik Guest

    Jun 25, 2001
    Claremore OK.
    I believe Matthias summed it all up.
  5. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    The difference in maximum volume between 350 and 750 watts is only 3 dB. This is noticeable but not a HUGE difference. You really need to increase power by a factor of 4:1 (6 dB) before you'll start hearing a significant change in the max volume.

    The EQ thing is REALLY important. Get some joker with an active bass, making a 15dB boost in the bass EQ at the instrument, then another 15dB boost at the amp. Wow, phat sound ! :cool: But for the amp to actually reproduce that 30dB boost, it need to put out TWENTY times the wattage compared to running both EQs flat. Like instead of 350 watts, 7000 (SEVEN THOUSAND) watts!!
  6. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    South Shore MA
    A watt is a watt whether it is generated by a tube, a transistor or a donkey with bad gas.

    Watt has nothing to do with how a human auditory system perceives volume.

    Of course when someone wants to overcharge you for an all tube amp, they'll tell you a tube watt is special.....
  7. thanks guys,
    i own an old ampeg svt and its true. the tubes do sound a lot louder. my buddy has a swr s-s amp and its rated at 750 watts. i seen him play a gig and his amp didn't have enough power.

    thanks for the info.
  8. EString


    Nov 20, 2000
    Los Altos, CA
    I've just heard that SWR power ratings are inflated.

    What's weird is I've tried a GK 800RB (300W @ 4 ohm) through the same cab (SWR Goliath Senior) as I did a GK 2001RB (1080W mono bridged @ 4 ohm) and the 2001RB didn't seem that much louder than the 800RB.

    Amongst SS amps at least, I guess voicing has a lot to do with it. The 800RB is pretty mid-rangey.
  9. Ty McNeely

    Ty McNeely

    Mar 27, 2000
    Not to be nit-picky or sound high and mighty or anything, but the proper word in this instance (and many in your first post) is "I saw him play a gig....."

    By the way...I agree with the bit about tubes being louder. Tubes pushed to the max simply give a tiny bit of warm sounding distortion (saturation? not like 'Anesthesia' type distortion, just a good sound), but an SS amp pushed to the max clips like crazy, therefore diminishing the amount you can push it.
  11. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    Good god, how loud do you guys play? 750 watts at a house party is not enough?????. I have an sm500 into a 410xlt and we play big ballrooms. I.E. 75ft.X125ft. with 18ft ceilings filled with 150 to 200 hundred people and I have yet to turn up past half way.
  12. yeah, but thats in doors. sound gets bounced off the walls so u don't need a lot of volume. playing outdoors is different cause the sound gets eating up with the open space.
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